The Frieds Interview: PART ONE

Frieds's picture
Rank: Almost Human | 6,082

DrPeterVenkman presents: An interesting interview with Frieds. Questions came from myself and other WSO contributing authors. This interview will be a little different because being the social guy that he is, Frieds wished to videochat through Skype.

Frieds is one of the top WSO users and contributing authors: //
He has worked in Asset Management. I will let you find out more about the man after the click:

The first thing you need to know about Frieds is that he's a very social, chatty and funny guy. He was one of the WSO users I had a great time meeting at WSO Conference. Frieds is a regular attendee of NYC area WSO Meetups/Happy Hours. If you have never read a WSO Happy Hour recap by Frieds you are truly missing out. They are quite hilarious. I suggest you read a recent one here:

Frieds grew up in wealthy suburban area in northern New Jersey. It was a "corridor of serious wealth"; you either lived there because of the easy access into Manhattan, you wanted your children to attend some of the best public schools in both the State of New Jersey and United States, or you wanted to live in one of the more prestigious, old money areas in New Jersey. He was surrounded by people who worked finance, law, medicine and other traditional high end white collar industries while growing up. He went to high school with a number of people whose parents were bankers and traders at the MD, Partner and C-Level executives at various Bulge Bracket Banks, Hedge Fund PMs and partners at Private Equity shops. It appears that going into a white collar career path seemed like a normal step for Frieds.

Frieds attended Penn State, "a non-target," in the early 2000's where he obtained a degree in finance. He really has high things to say about the academic level of Penn State. Not surprisingly, Frieds was involved in Greek Life while at Penn State. He served as Treasurer and President of his fraternity. The experience being a leader at his fraternity helped him "manage people, manage budgets and manage risk and learn the ins and outs of how a business is ran." As someone who has leadership experience in a Greek organization I can tell you that being Treasurer of a fraternity is a damn tough job. It's definitely a good experience to learn from.

Frieds knew that attending a "non-target" he would have to do some serious networking. This networking paid off when he was able to land solid PWM internships in his freshmen and sophomore summers and allowed to move across the firm into IBD for his junior summer. Frieds stressed that "networking doesn't end when you get a job," its even more important to network when you are at the job. He was able to network with his bosses which eventually helped him land a full-time offer. (More on this later.)

Frieds Advice to Non-Targets:
1.Always try and network. Networking is the "spice of life." You need to be social. This is important no matter whether you are trying to get a job, in a job, or studying at university. This also doesn't mean that you hand out resumes every chance you get, but make sure you leave with the person being able to remember you for something - positive or negative - so you can jog their memory if you see them or speak to them again.

2.Hard work pays off. You may not get noticed as much, but you need to prove yourself. Someone will notice. Having your foot in the door doesn't mean you have accomplished anything.

3.You have to know what is right for you. Don't be influenced by peer pressure or what everyone else is doing. Analyze what is best for you and your career. "If your sole goal is to make money you need to re-evaluate your goals." It sounds cliche but money=/=happiness. If you have a solid job in finance you will be financially healthy, but is sacrificing your happiness for a little bit extra money worth it? Its up to you.

4.Thoughts on moving on to buyside, etc.: If you're not happy where you are in banking you may not be happy on buy-side. One of the things Frieds mentioned was being happy working with the people you work with. If you move to a different job but you don't have the same atmosphere you may not be as happy.

5 .From your education and career the main goal should be to find ways to make yourself happy. Hating your life or career path is not great for the soul or your liver. Without having something to help you keep balance, your job can turn into an everlasting purgatory, so stop and smell the roses. Also, having a hobby that you are passionate about helps with keeping you happy despite all the negativity around you.

6.A little bit of humility goes a long way. Be confident, but humble to present yourself right. "Sometimes you are the statue, sometimes you are the bird. Always remember your role"

7.Interviewing is crazy. Deal with it. Sometimes you go to an interview, get shit on and get the job. Sometimes you go to an interview, do great, and don't get the job. Don't stress it. Don't overthink it. Just accept what you can control and don't worry about what you can't.

Now that you're on the other side of things, what do you look for in a new hire?
When he looks for a new hire, the candidate must be a free-thinker, independent, and be able to back up their ideas whether they are right are wrong, as it makes learning from screw-ups a lot easier to do. It's necessary to be quick on your feet and learn on the fly. Asset Management is a very detail oriented field so they need to be strong in that area and organized.

More from Frieds in Part Two including: What Asset Management is really like, his thoughts on the MBA, his future, and his thoughts on current financial and political events.

Comments (10)

Aug 30, 2012

What fraternity? And I agree with being a greek leader being a good way to learn people management.

    • 1
Aug 30, 2012

What fraternity? And I agree with being a greek leader being a good way to learn people management.

I am a Pi Lam and I'll be one until the day I die.

And to everyone else, if you have any questions, just ask and I'll do my best to answer anything you might want to know.

Aug 30, 2012

Forgot to mention that Frieds is a regular attendee at WSO Happy Hours--if you don't notice him first, he will in all likelihood introduce himself to you!

Metal. Music. Life.

    • 1
Aug 30, 2012
In The Flesh:

Forgot to mention that Frieds is a regular attendee at WSO Happy Hours--if you don't notice him first, he will in all likelihood introduce himself to you!

Thought that was clear from the Happy Hour recaps but I edited it to make it perfectly clear!

Aug 30, 2012

Great points...I was speaking to a colleague of mine out of HBS and he advised me that cranking out 100 hour weeks is fine if that's the path you're taking in your 20s, but when you start progessing in your career and your life there needs to be a balance of job, family, community, and self. How you allocate resources to each differs on a case by case basis, but happiness in all aspects will better allow you to gauge true success. "You're the only one who can determine if your career is a success. It's not something you can be told."

Aug 30, 2012

If part two doesn't satisfy my curiosity, be prepared to answer a lot of questions

Aug 31, 2012

Good stuff, looking forward to more!
+1 for PiLam -- some of the finest men I know are brothers of that fraternity.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

Aug 31, 2012

Frieds is a very cool guy and really knowledgable about the industry. Must have spent a good hour atleast talking to him about FIG and current events in all the different lending markets, very social, great conversationalist and an overall awesome dude. I would encourage more people to go to these events and meet people everyone there was great to talk to. This should prob be under his review of the event but that hasn't been posted yet.

Aug 31, 2012

I'm being lazy about it JD - the review is coming. I've just been kind of lolligagging on getting it finished. Don't worry, a discussion on FIG will be mentioned.

Aug 31, 2012